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Shaina

32 Posts


Posted - Apr 21 2016 :  11:19:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh yes, we are learning so much in such a short time!
The poor little girl has started to suckle, but not strong enough to suck anything from the bottle. I squirt a bit into her mouth and she swallows it. We are still tube feeding her. So far she has been fed 3 quarts of colostrum. She is still so weak. It seems like she doesn't have the strength to do much of anything. I don't foresee her being able to stand anytime soon.

The calf coat is a great idea. I will try and find something that will work tomorrow. She is back in the house again for the night.

Cinnamon seems to be forgetting about her calf, and even let me milk 1.5 quarts today. That's a huge improvement. My kids petted, fed and talked to Cinnamon while I milked and she seemed to be much more comfortable with the situation. She loves the kids. Maybe they should be doing the milking!! Just kidding.
I have tried putting the calf near her while milking and she seems to get more angry with me, and temperamental. Poor girl. A mommy at 14 months old, and full of mommy worries and troubles.

You have all been very helpful. I appreciate the links you are all posting to direct me to helpful discussions on the HJO chatroom. I should spend more time going through all the topics. Thank you all for your help!!!

I cannot wait to hear how everything goes with the baby that's due next week!!! I hope all goes well with the birth, and you have a healthy mom and baby!!!

This is great, being able to share our stories and get help from each other. :)

I will keep you updated.
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maryjane

6764 Posts


Posted - Apr 22 2016 :  12:24:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Shaina, after 24 hours she shouldn't get any more colostrum tubed down her. Three quarts is plenty. Milk out the rest of Cinnamon's colostrum and get her started on Cinnamon's milk. The colostrum after 24 hours can cause digestive problems. Also, a mother cow will lick a calf's bottom constantly to get a calf to pass its meconium and after that to get it to pass bright yellow, gooey sticky poop that would be from the colostrum. If her mother can't lick her, you'll need to activate her by rubbing her anus using a towel. In the past, I've used spa gloves designed to exfoliate skin.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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txbikergirl

3191 Posts


Posted - Apr 22 2016 :  08:06:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
shaina, i know you'll need more input from others here but i am wondering if you can sling the calf from the ceiling or something to let it kinda start to use its legs while being supported. i know with the cow anatomy placement is important, and that's why i recommend input from MJ... i did this with a chickend and a dog before when they had health issues and couldn't stand some or at all - it let them exercise the legs a bit and push around, and keep those muscles working even though they couldn't stand all the way. kinda like the baby in the kitchen on one of those doorway swings.

i only did this for 5-6 hours a day, and when i was around, but it worked great. for me i had a porch beam outside that i could do this with.

anyway, just a thought so that if the calf is getting nourishment and going to make it she can also start to use those muscles a bit.

mj, any thoughts??

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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maryjane

6764 Posts


Posted - Apr 22 2016 :  7:32:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think the sling is a novel idea. I'll remember that the next time I have an animal convalescing that could benefit from some movement. I did a sling thing today with my cows in the squeeze chute so they couldn't get traction with their legs (Ester Lily likes to go down on her knees when we poke her).

Under the front of their bellies and also in the back (right in front of their udders), I suspended them (barely) with two 27' x 2" heavy-duty ratchet tie-downs (Home Depot), padded with three Velcro shoulder strap pads on each strap. It was pretty slick. The vet that was helping me took photos of it for the other vets she works with, saying, "I always love the ideas you come up with for making vet care easier." Made my day! So yeah, slings work.

On another note, one of my older farmhands has a cat companion who recently turned 21 years old. Wowzer. I was quick to tell Jasper we had a few good years left.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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maryjane

6764 Posts


Posted - Apr 23 2016 :  10:11:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Shaina, thinking of you this morning and hoping all is well with Cinnamon and baby. I have all my fingers crossed.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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Shaina

32 Posts


Posted - Apr 23 2016 :  1:09:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A sling is a great idea. It could be like a cow johnny jumper! (baby jumper)

I had wondered is she needed stimulated to defecate and tried it. She immediately passed her stools, and urine. It is kind of convenient, because we can be ready for it.

Itzy (calf) made some great milestones today. She is now drinking from a bottle and walking on her own!!! She still needs help to her feet, but after that she is mobile! She is looking stronger and more alert all the time. Maybe in a few days she will be ready to sleep outdoors. With a coat of course. :) Great idea.
I won't leave her out until I know she isn't going to be cold. Around 7:00 pm it cools off enough that she fluffs her hair and looks chilled. That's when we take her into the house. Once she can get up by herself to walk, we will probably need to move her sleeping area outside.

MaryJane: I am glad you let me know about changing from colostrum to milk. I had just begun warming colostrum for the morning when I read your post. :) Sorry it sometimes takes me a while to respond. With 3 little kids it makes it difficult for me to be on the computer for extended periods of time.

Cinnamon is doing great! I milked her 3 times yesterday and got 2 gallons total. Her cream has been settling on top, and I am pleased to see she has about 30% cream. Yumm!!! I cannot wait to start trying some of MaryJanes recipes in The Milk Cow Kitchen book!!!
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txbikergirl

3191 Posts


Posted - Apr 23 2016 :  2:33:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
shaina, its great to hear that things are moving along well. its always worrisome the first few days when nothing went as planned, especially for you when the whole thing was unplanned and a surprise!

if you have a moment search pinterest or google images and you'll see calves in hoodies, sweaters, sweatshirts, etc. so there are a lot of things you can do with old clothing or muck yard cast offs to get you by for now.

the benefit for you here is that itzy is going to be so tame that she'll make an amazing milk cow in a few years ;> make sure you start to halter train her sooner rather than later so she gets used to the feeling, even just wearing the halter while you are around even if you aren't leading her.

most important, but you'll probably never forget this since cinnamon - calves can go into heat as early as 3-4 months... and with three little kids around you'll want to watch for that as you don't want a calf mounting and injuring a child. so i would mark a calendar now and keep watch. once elsa was in her first heat after we got her home, its now 19-20 days exactly for each heat and i am very careful. those calfs are all sweetness and love, until they are in heat and then it is all evil and ugly... b ut for just 48 hours or so.

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Apr 24 2016 :  12:01:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So happy to hear things are improving! I know all of this is a lot of work right now, but it will get easier and settle down into more of a normal routine.

And, Itzy will be so wonderfully tame ... practice with the halter but don't leave the halter on her! They grow fast and you don't want a halter to end up being too small and creating sores.

So good to hear positive updates! Well done.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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NellieBelle

10929 Posts


Posted - Apr 24 2016 :  4:03:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great news Shaina. Hoping all the best for you, Itsy, and Cinnamon. Sounds like you are doing a fine job.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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Shaina

32 Posts


Posted - Apr 27 2016 :  08:33:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What a good idea to halter the calf early on. I will have to get started!

I hadn't even thought of Cinnamon and baby cycling. We will definitely have to watch for heat cycling behaviors.

I have been thinking about re-breeding Cinnamon. Should I wait until the end of the summer and give her time to finish growing before breeding her again? Or maybe even wait until next spring?
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maryjane

6764 Posts


Posted - Apr 27 2016 :  08:44:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, I would give that girl a good long break and let her give you milk. In her case, you're going to need to make sure she has the very best of feed. Also, make sure you plan for a spring, summer, or early fall calf rather than a winter calf.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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Sydney2015

1155 Posts


Posted - Apr 29 2016 :  06:21:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Congrats on the calf! The picture is adorable!

A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing - Laura Ingalls Wilder

I live on a small farm of seventy acres called Green Forest Farm, with 10 horses, a donkey, 5 beef cows, 2 beef heifers, 3 Hereford heifers, around 60 chickens, 8 dogs, my amazing cow, AppleButter, and her little Jersey calf HoneyButter!
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Shaina

32 Posts


Posted - Apr 29 2016 :  07:19:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
An update on Cinnamon and Itsy.

Itzy is growing nicely, and is noticeably heavier. I am going to weigh her today. She was 35 pounds at birth. She loves to run with the kids and dogs, although it kind of worries Cinnamon. :)

We have been putting either a sweater or rain jacket on her at night. When the nights start to warm up, we will wean her from the sweater and jacket, but for now it has been getting below 40 degrees and she appears to be cold without them. Even with them on her muscles will shiver. Her hair will fluff when she is cold. But even with her sweater on, after her hair smooths down, her muscles will continue to shake/spasm/shiver (not really sure what to call it).
I have been taking her temperature, and it is staying at 102 degrees, which I have read is normal calf temperature. I am also giving her 2 squirts of Nutri-Drench (Rapid, Rich Nutrition Supplement For All Classes Of Goats and Sheep) twice a day. It contains Calcium, Selenium, Vita A, D, and E.

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maryjane

6764 Posts


Posted - Apr 29 2016 :  07:35:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh my, I have the biggest smile on my face. Just adorable. Thank you for the update and photos. Good job Shaina and family! What a wonderful experience for your kids.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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NellieBelle

10929 Posts


Posted - Apr 29 2016 :  09:21:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh Shaina, Itsy and Cinnamon are so sweet! Little pink rain cover is adorable. Things are looking good. Ditto what MaryJane said. Thank you for sharing the photos and experience.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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farmlife

1413 Posts


Posted - Apr 29 2016 :  4:29:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good for you Shaina! What an accomplishment to have worked so hard in a challenging and somewhat complicated situation. I bet your kids adore Itsy!
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